Elias Pettersson’s agent talks expectations and media pressure

France's Florian Chakiachvili falls after a hit by Sweden's Elias Pettersson (R) during the group A match Sweden vs France of the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark, on May 7, 2018. (Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP) (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
France's Florian Chakiachvili falls after a hit by Sweden's Elias Pettersson (R) during the group A match Sweden vs France of the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark, on May 7, 2018. (Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP) (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Elias Pettersson is in Vancouver and Canucks fans the excitement mounts with every video and photo on the ice. His agent was on the radio yesterday talking about everyone’s expectations and the media pressure on him.

Elias Pettersson has arrived. We all see the clips and photos of the Vancouver Canuck superstar-in-the-making on twitter. There are a whole host of expectations, inflated by his historic SHL season and what we saw from a impressive rookie campaign from Brock Boeser.

Boeser had the best rookie season since Pavel Bure; and if he was able to stay healthy, he could have beaten the Russian Rocket’s rookie season. Despite being younger than Boeser in his debut, Canucks fans expect the same if not more from Pettersson.

The Canucks media has a reputation for being critical, but if you take an honest look, our mainstream sources don’t usually go after players. They usually support and stick up for players, sometimes declaring ridiculous things. Players are rarely run out of town, unless a certain writer out there needs to justify a bad trade or two or three.

People often mistake this support for pressure. From an outward perspective, I can see that. But as Canucks fans, those looking in should realize how bad it’s been. Losing takes a toll and tangible results are trickling slower than molasses.

That’s why there is so much excitement. Pettersson is one of the three best prospects outside the NHL right now. Most of us know to keep our expectations in check. I try to take that high road. But let’s be honest, if he gets off to a hot start, who could resist joining the hype train?

What Pettersson’s agent said

More from The Canuck Way

Michael Deutsch, Pettersson’s agent, spoke with the boys at Sportsnet 650 yesterday and as always, Rick Dhaliwal has the important notes on his twitter page. Unsurprisingly, he re-affirmed that the thumb surgery went great and Pettersson is training harder than ever. Standard stuff.

However, he promised that we were “going to see Elias reach another level because you have not seen his full physical development by any stretch.” Pettersson made an incredible physical jump between his draft year and the season that followed.

A good visual example is comparing him at the 2017 World Juniors to the 2018 tournament. During the former, Pettersson was getting knocked around and couldn’t create space on the smaller ice surface.

However, after a year of training, he was the one initiating contact and controlling the puck with ease on North American ice.  To promise something even greater than that after a surgery is a bold thing to do. His agent knows how to do his job right and that’s continue to build the excitement.

Deutsch is not worried how his client will face the media. Sweden’s media was described as putting “astronomical” pressure on Pettersson, so it trained him well for Canada. That’s great to hear. Honestly, modern aspiring hockey players receive media training early on. That’s why most of them have boring personalities. It’s also why we like the players who go a little against the grain. Pettersson isn’t afraid to crack jokes in interviews, so I do look forward to those.

His agent went on to say that Pettersson will put the most expectations on himself. He is his own toughest critic, which is both good and bad. Balance is the key and I’m not worried about him struggling with that.

Next. Jim Benning should make a trade with Vegas. dark

Deutsch also mentioned, “Elias is committed to a 200 foot game. […]He is a committed defensive player.” I can’t believe I’m old enough to remember when the Sedins said the same thing. Pettersson is saying the correct things. We will see how Travis Green deploys him, but Pettersson is doing well to get on his coach’s good side. The bar is set high for Pettersson, but he certainly has the right attitude to reach it.